Having now got 2 of our children successfully through the weaning stage and now scoffing food independently to their heart’s content, within the last couple of years it’s been their little brother’s turn to master that crucial life skill: Being able to use cutlery independently to enjoy meals along with the rest of the family!
Whilst I think as parents we’ve always been pretty good at teaching our children good table manners and enjoying eating together around the table, life now with 3 children has been pretty hectic up until now, meaning that out of all 3 children, Arlo has probably been left to his own devices more when it comes to managing mealtimes.
We’re lucky that all of our children have been ‘good’ eaters and not particularly fussy, which gives us a head start when it comes to tucking into meals, but even at 2 now there are still some #MealTimesMilestones that Arlo can work on.
When doddl got in touch to see if Arlo would like to try out one of their doddl cutlery sets and tick off some of those final tasks on their #MealTimeMilestones checklist, we said a resounding “Yes please!”
We’re currently spending more time together as a family than ever before during the Covid-19 Lockdown, and it’s actually the perfect time for our children to practice and improve on important life skills now we have more time on our hands to teach them.
Whilst Arlo has mastered 1-5 on the doddl challenge checklist, he could still do with some work on numbers 7-10!
Here he is having a go at those remaining ones, with Daddy on hand to help…
Enter the Knife
Whilst Arlo is a dab hand with an individual fork and spoon, and that’s what we give him at the majority of meal times, I have to admit that up until now we haven’t really given him the knife, so there’s definitely scope for practice with this now! Included in tonight’s dinner was Tortellini pasta that needed cutting, and asked him to have a go at cutting it up with the doddl knife. He actually had good control over this, although I think at this stage success depends on how easy the food is to cut up. Will be adding a knife for each meal in future, he can clearly give it a good go!
Fork n’ Dip
Okay, so our little guy is actually pretty good at number 7 already, and as a ketchup-lover has the fork n’ dip pretty much nailed. You can’t bit dunking a chip or chicken goujon in a bit of the red stuff! That on it’s own is an essential life skill don’t you know?! Therefore spearing the pasta was no problemo…
On the Other Hand
Getting Arlo to use his other hand for holding cutlery has been an interesting one to observe: He’s actually always swapped around which hand he holds his spoon and fork in, so is fairly good at this, much more so than his brother and sister were at the same age. He doesn’t always use both hands together/cutlery at the same time though yet, although more of that shortly!
We’ve witnessed the use of cutlery ‘combos’ for a little while now (when any utensil is used to push food onto the other and then down the hatch), and it can still be a tad messy, but it works! Now on to the last one on the checklist…
The Final Frontier
So, getting that cutlery working together: We’ve had a good practice at doing this, and Adam here is helping him try and use his new knife to cut the pasta and then push it and his peas onto the fork. Trickier for a two year old and took a few days of trying, but he actually rose to the challenge and got a big cheer from his siblings when he managed to do this himself!
He looks pretty happy with his progress!
I’m so pleased that the slower pace of life right now has enabled us to help Arlo master some more life skills, and he’s pretty chuffed to be a ‘big boy’ and have his own knife now (I love how easy-to-hold the doddl one is in this set).
If you’d like your little one to have a go at the challenge themselves, then head on over to the doddl #MealTimeMilestones Checklist and see what they can already tick off, and what they could work on.
It’s a lot of fun!
*Thanks to doddl for working The Spirited Puddle Jumper
See some more of my other posts on parenting and motherhood